They all suffer from it but some of them are more inflicted with it than others.



Essentially it's the politics of convenience. It's not convenient on many occasions to recall what went on in the past so they can't be held responsible for it.



Or is it political amnesia? That would certainly seem to be the case as the student loan debt mountain climbs to fifteen billion dollars and the Labour leader's reaction to it.



Andrew Little, like many of his colleagues, went through university fee free. Now he says there is a generation of graduates who're being robbed of their life choices because of their debt. It's harder for them to buy a house, launch a business or start a family.

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Surely this isn't the same party that last year came out with a list of Chinese names, inferring that's why the Auckland housing market's beyond the reach of most.



And this is the same party, at the behest of one of its current members Phil Goff, that introduced university tuition fees in the first place. A couple of years later National introduced student loans, attracting an interest rate of seven percent.



Facing a tough election battle in 2005 where Don Brash came within a hair's breadth of knocking Helen Clark off her perch, Labour came up with a master stroke. On the eve of the election they made a jaw dropping announcement, the scrapping of interest rates on the loans, removing the incentive to pay them off in a hurry.



As it is now, students with debt living here pay off their loans in around six years. The current, average loan stands at around $14,500, hardly a barrier to buying a house. Most of the debt that's overdue, more than 90 percent, of it is owed by students living overseas, and unlike those living here, they're paying interest on it. And besides those who have a degree earn considerably more over their lifetime than those who don't.



Andrew Little's family cat Buddy became ill last week, he swallowed a dead rat. Probably in sympathy with his master who did the same thing a couple of weeks back offering three years free tertiary education to those who haven't had it.



A laudable policy, the only trouble with it is, he's given his opponents plenty of time to come up with an alternative.

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